Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Music on a Long Thin Wire
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Special Interest, Classical
A 50foot length of taut wire passes through the poles of a large magnet and is driven by an oscillator; the vibrations of the wire are miked at either end, amplified and broadcast in stereo. The thin wire is set vibrating... more »
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A 50foot length of taut wire passes through the poles of a large magnet and is driven by an oscillator; the vibrations of the wire are miked at either end, amplified and broadcast in stereo. The thin wire is set vibrating four times at four different frequencies; what results is not the low drone one might expect from a long, vibrating wire, but a complexity of evocative, ethereal chords. First released on Lovely Music in 1980, Music on a Long Thin Wire is a classic example of Alvin Luciers investigations into the physics of sound and the sonic properties of natural processes.
Drone magic from Lucier
DAC Crowell | 05/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is such a simple piece. A long, thin wire...as advertised...is tuned, then set into motion (in a sense, 'bowed') using an electromagnet driven by a sine oscillator, which on this release is tuned to four different frequencies for the different parts of this release. The results sometimes work, especially the last two tunings, where the wire is set into all sorts of chordal tones, harmonic reinforcements and disruptions, and it's really made to ring out in the resonant space the work is installed in. But this doesn't always work, as at least one of these is so static as to be very unchanging and as a result, not all that interesting listening. So, I can't give this four stars, even though the 'uninteresting result' is, of course, a perfectly valid end-result of Lucier's piece. But most of what's here is really nice, and works well in an Eno-like ambient vein, played back at a low level as sonic coloring. A very austere yet elegant (and elegantly-devised) work."
Beauty in Simplicity
Eric J. Hradecky | Rockford, IL United States | 03/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is beauty in simplicity. Alvin Lucier proves this with four very simple compositions. The Amazon description is very accurate here, so I use "composition" very loosely. Lucier really does just walk away from his invented instrument and allow the hall, passers by and even air vibration to effect the sound! This is how sensative to the elements of the room his long thin wire was.
I find it helpful when reviewers compare a recording or artist to another to see if I might be interested in a new piece of music or a new artist. So in this vein here are artists and their music that I find are akin to Lucier's "Music on a Long Thin Wire..." First and foremost the work that Robert Fripp and Brian Eno did together in the early and mid 1970's. If you find these composers collaborations even the least bit interesting then you'll love this record by Alvin Lucier!
Secondly if you enjoy the Minimalist school of composition, Reich, Adams, Young, Glass and Riley, etc, then again You can't go wrong with this disc.
Third, those who have created their own instrument because there exists no instrument that makes the sounds in the composers head. These composers include Todd Machover, Harry Partch and John Cage.
And finally if you're a Rock and Roller and love the "minimalist" vein of Neil Young's one note solos from "Cinnamon Girl" & "Down By The River" or Johnny Ramone's blistering one note solo on "I Wanna Be Sedated" or better yet the scorching one note drone organ solo on the Warlock's "Shake the Dope Out" then you have found an excellent addition to your cd collection!
So there you have it. If you like any of the above composers, pieces or Rock bands mentioned I think you'll really enjoy this recording. But be prepared there isn't much here. These are truely one note drones that have very little variation from start to finish. Harmonic variations, dymanic and tambre changes do occur, but over all you have to be patient and let this piece unfold at a very slow pace.
I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I do, it is a work that has beauty in it's simplicity."